National Book Read 2021–2022: Decolonizing Trauma Work: Indigenous Stories and Strategies

The NASP Social Justice Committee (SJC) is pleased to announce the 2021-2022 National Book Read, Decolonizing Trauma Work by Renee Linklater, PhD. The SJC encourages individuals and groups to engage with this text throughout the 2021-2022 school year. Committee members have developed a discussion guide designed to help readers think both broadly and specifically about how the issues discussed in the book connect to social justice for youth and families who experience traumatic stress. If you would like to lead a group discussion around this book, the guidance documents are available both online and in printable PDF formats.

This guidance document offeres a structured way to engage in discussions about our recommended group read for the 2021-2022 school year, Decolonizing Trauma Work by Renee Linklater, PhD. The questions are designed to prompt thought, critique, and action steps towards increasing the ability of individuals, schools, and communities to be a force for social justice.

As you engage in the book read, please reference the NASP (2017) definition of social justice for additional context: Social justice is both a process and a goal that requires action. School psychologists work to ensure the protection of the educational rights, opportunities, and well-being of all children, especially those whose voices have been muted, identities obscured, or needs ignored. Social justice requires promoting nondiscriminatory practices and the empowerment of families and communities. School psychologists enact social justice through culturally responsive professional practice and advocacy to create schools, communities, and systems that ensure equity and fairness for all children and youth. Keeping in mind the centrality of social justice to school psychology practice, the SJC encourages school psychologists to organize groups (e.g., school-based colleagues, district colleagues, graduate education program faculty, and students) to read and discuss the book. Videos with tips for facilitating book reads will be available via the Social Justice page of the NASP website. We also offer this guidance document to help organize book read groups.

Timing and Setting

To help coordinate your book read, we suggest using one of the following timelines:

Number of Meetings Time Per Meeting Theme Chapters to Discuss
1 2 hours 1.    Decolonizing Trauma Work 1.    Foreword-Chapter 6
2 1 hour 1.    History and Indigenous Perspectives 2.    Indigenous Healing & Strategies

1.    Forward-Chapter 3

2.    Chapter 4-Chapter 6

3 45 minutes

1.    History and Introduction

2.    Indigenous Perspectives

3.    Indigenous Healing & Strategies

1.    Forward-Chapter 2

2.    Chapter 3-Chapter 4

3.    Chapter 5-Chapter 6

Facilitators should be mindful of the safety and comfort of attendees when determining if in-person meetings are appropriate. Please see the Facilitating a Book Read video available on NASP's Social Justice website for additional considerations for in-person environments. If you decide to meet virtually, Zoom and GoToMeeting are excellent options for synchronous virtual group discussions. If you would like an asynchronous approach, we recommend the following sites for engaging with your book read members: 

  1. Flipgrid
  2. Padlet
  3. Seesaw
  4. Nearpod
  5. Discord

Facilitators are encouraged to create learning objectives to help guide their group’s book discussions. We offer the following learning objectives as examples.

The learning objectives of this book read are that attendees will:

  1. Expand their knowledge to learn the ways in which implicit biases are developed and maintained.
  2. Enhance their understanding of the ways in which implicit biases create health disparities among minoritized populations.
  3. Identify strategies for addressing implicit biases and reducing the impact it has on health outcomes.
  4. Develop their skills in using a social justice framework to describe ways in which school psychologists can address implicit bias and subsequent health disparities within their practice to improve the education and well-being of youth, families, schools, and communities.